Chapter 3, Page 24

Sic transit caerulea mundi, my friend

In case you missed it, a bit of background on Martian body morphology for $5+ Patrons. Most of this is ancillary and won’t be explained in the comic (I tend to overwrite/ world-build just so I can have the info on hand in case I need it)… people seemed to like it so I’ll probably continue to expound in this vein in future updates.

Today’s bonus art: A larger version of the middle panel




  • Karyl

    Der-shing, I am a patron but somehow don’t find the link you provide for the morphology to open to anything more than the general thanks page. Is there a $ limit for access to this info? I am very curious! Thanks for what you do–I just love the clarity of the atmosphere and the general feeling the soft colors give.

    • shingworks

      Oh yeah! Sorry, access to all the worldbuilding and essay-type stuff (listed here) is under the $5 pledge level, sorry for not making that clearer. And thank you :3

  • JJ

    I see. Tell me more about that bombardment exodus brine

    • Leon

      Lol. My thoughts exactly!

    • Teej

      Mike, you big ding-dong

    • Siarles

      Well, he is a geologist. Water has a big impact on geology. An anthropologist/archaeologist/paleontologist might be more interested in the exodus. And 4bya was right in the middle of the Late Heavy Bombardment, so he probably knows about that already.

    • Fawnet

      Not a whole lot of empathy there, no.
      That second panel is stunning. It’s beautiful, the colors are gorgeous, but you can also tell that water sculpted that landscape, and everything you’re looking at is bad news for them.

    • hkmaly

      “Tell me about the waters of your homeworld, Muad’dib.”

    • Some_Douchebag

      Just reading this page for the first time, so I’m two months late to the party, but it’s entirely possible that Mike is asking the mysterious English(?)-speaking Martian about things Mike’s field of study hold to be true. If the Martian tells him anything conflicting or surprising – but not fantastic, like the existence of said Martian – then it’s evidence that Mike is not hallucinating the whole thing. When we finally run into Bex again, things will get interesting.

  • Gorgeous as always. Man, love those first two panels.

  • Hmm.
    My brain must be badly wired, I first thought they were at war, but it’s most probably asteroid bombardement.

    • Gabe

      So, according to actual science, the reason Mars crapped out is because it’s molten core stopped spinning, which decreased its ability to hold onto its atmosphere. As the atmosphere thinned, the planet would be bombarded by more and more cosmic radiation, which would have boiled away the seas. The water flies into space instead of being kept in the planet’s system. Of course, there may be other fantastic elements at play here.

      • David

        I believe it has to do with Mars losing its magnetic field (due to the problems in its core that you mentioned). Most of the solar wind consists of charged particles, which are pushed out of the way by a planet’s magnetic field. One the planet loses its field, the solar wind starts sweeping away bits of the upper atmosphere. Once enough of the atmosphere is gone, the water on the surface starts to evaporate, and then then it gets blown away too.

  • DukeBG


  • ahaha such a doctor, only interested in one subject.

    the coloring on this page is extra fabulous ;v; any chance patrons could get that second panel as a wallpaper?

    • shingworks

      Sure! I’ll have to double check to make sure it’s clean enough but if it is I’ll throw it up tonight or tomorrow

      • David

        Warm water, spin cycle. Use only color-safe detergent.

  • Ceceoh

    Mike, you’ve got salt water in your heart.

    Also, why do alien planets in fiction always get the beautiful, swoopy, curvaceous, organic buildings, while real life gives us straight lines and right angles?

    • shingworks

      Less gravity? lol… contractors are like gdi I don’t want to build this shit

      • Fridge_Logik

        Preformed building materials are a big part of it. Whether it’s Wood, Bricks, steel, glass, or even preformed slabs of concrete strait pieces are both strong and in high demand. Cubes are just ridiculously easy to tessellate.

        Also joints which are not 90 degrees will probably require extra reinforcement in some direction the contractor doesn’t want to think about.

        Hell even if you’re pouring concrete you have to build forms out of guess what: wood and/or steel.

        There are some people working on ways to 3D print buildings (use a 3d printer to create thin bands of concrete that will act as forms). But the method has yet to become cost competitive with cube structures.

    • Leon

      Because the aliens have bigger 3D printers.

    • Scorp

      Hey, for all we know this could be their version of the Sydney Opera House. *shrugshrug*

      • shingworks

        It’s a business plaza~ so boring

    • David

      Their technology has probably gotten to the point where they make beautiful things on a whim, just for the hell of it.

      • shingworks

        That’s definitely the case… they are very aesthetically-minded.

    • corvideye

      Tell that to Gaudi…

  • Corbie

    Is that a Space Whale skeleton on the bottom of the former bay, in the background? I want to go look for the flowerpot that must be around. :)

    A beautiful page. And Kalla looks so elegant even while cooking. I wonder what she’ll have to say about Thighfriend, since she did not try to rip him out of Mike again.

  • DukeBG

    One of the RU readers noticed that Kalla made the hair differently. Actually, this has been true since the beginning of this scene. I’m not sure if anyone noticed before D:

    • DukeBG

      Ah, yes, it was discussed.

  • Enrique262

    Will… Will we ever reach a point where we’re left with more answers than questions?

    • corvideye

      I hope not! That would be boring!

  • Ceceoh

    Hey! Martian got spots! And thinning hair. Maybe they’re age spots.

    • corvideye

      Actually I think it’s the other way around. If that is past Kallakore, then the implication is that younger armsharks have spots and less developed hair (and maybe less crest, but can’t tell in the pic), then lose the spots and grow more hair in maturity. After all, some earth species have spotted young which lose the spots on maturing, e. g. fawns and some wild cat species. And, of course, adult humans have more hair than young ones, up to a point.

  • Lorenzo

    I just noticed the fire is blue-ish. That’s fire, right? Wwwwhy is it blue?

    • shingworks

      Fire and brimstone!

      • Leon

        No wonder Mike was coughing, with all that SO2 produced XD.
        If you didn’t tell us, I probably would have guessed it’s a methane flame. Interestingly, for that flame to exist, there needs to be lots of oxygen present.

  • Anvill

    Are those arcs in the sky a part of the Martians’ efforts to preserve their atmosphere? Just curious if there is anything to them. Thanks!

    • Leon

      Maybe a Martian McDonald’s?

    • fox-orian

      If I had to guess since we’re talking a LONG LONG time ago, probably just natural rings from space dust and smaller debris that hadn’t fallen yet.

      • jimpost

        Two regular and evenly spaced for that, I think. More probably part of the technology they were using to keep in atmo and the seas.

        • Sheridan

          Looks like a massive dome structure The two lines going roughly left-right are the ‘ribs’ and the line in the top-right would be the sternum or spine.

  • JakeyBakey


  • I really like how the building’s shape mirrors the body plan of Kallakore’s species!

  • Vert

    Are those contrails or some kind of superstructure? o_0

    • shingworks

      Superstructure X[______]

      • Charlie

        Hey Tim! It looks like there’s a dome of some sort, rather than contrails. They did say that they were trying to preserve their last sea, and building a dome over it would assist with that. Plus there’s a color differential at the very top of the picture of the sort I would expect from looking through more atmosphere inside, vs less outside.

        Still, that’s a serious mega-structure, I don’t have a good sense of the scale, but building a dome over even a small sea on Earth is well beyond our current materials science and engineering, especially one without visible supports.

        Also, lots of small, bright lights in the sky that I kind of doubt are stars. Solar Mirrors reflecting sunlight to the surface? Ships leaving on this exodus? Crazy ass big Martian Fireflies?

        Actually, speaking of solar mirrors, if they have tech to make space travel trivial, they should have been able to mitigate things Red Mars style with ice comet bombardment, solar mirrors, and lots of greenhouse gas spamming. They might choose not to, for reasons, but it should be within their technical capacity.

        • Sheridan

          re the stars; the three low down near the Sun could be the three inner planets. The upper four look similar to the Southern Cross, except that can’t possibly be right since we’re 16 orbits around the galaxy ago and everything has moved.

  • Spav

    Thus passes the blueness of the world?

    I like it.

  • spottedspeck

    Oh! In the blown up version of panel 2, I just noticed one of the figures is bigger than the other. Possibly Kalla’s mom?

    • spottedspeck

      Or dad?

    • Spav

      According to the body morphology post, the females are indeed larger.

  • Luces

    That second panel is so much sixties-SF! So much like home, for me, having read tons of that stuff as a child. Thank you very much.

  • Aristatide

    Mike, Mike, you’ve just got something on your eye, could you just get that, it’s just, could you just, IT’S DRIVING ME NUTS.

    • David

      and how is it *not* driving him nuts?

  • Caitlin Naber

    That thing where you find a new comic and binge it instead of working only to find yourself on the most recent page far too soon…this is wonderful and I can’t wait for more!

  • fox-orian

    What would really do it for me is if Kallakore answers Mike enthusiastically about their oceans being saltwater and they get into a deep conversation about salt.

    I wanna hear about that salt.

    • fox-orian

      You think I’m kidding

  • CosmicStresshead

    I think Mike might be trying to stick to the less fantastic aspects of Kallakore’s story, one of the few things he currently has any control over, in order to keep grounded. Also I suspect he thinks this is likely all a hallucination, so isn’t taking it too seriously. Following Kallakore’s story along its more outlandish tangents might further loosen his grip on reality, and I imagine he learned to treat hallucinations this way in therapy.

    Or something.

  • Meter

    Der-shing, I just wanted to let you know, I really really love Mare Internum, and the world building work slowly being revealed (over at patreon too) are blowing my mind. I absolutely love Kallakore’s design, and it has been really interesting and enjoyable seeing her behaviors with her interesting anatomy throughout the pages since she first appeared.

    Mike’s not looking so good though. I can feel something is slowly building up. I just think you are amazing. Can’t wait for more.

  • Sillydraco

    Armshark you needs a manicure :U

  • that thing on his eye… just can’t keep it out of my mind D:

  • corvideye

    That sea-shell is simply gorgeous. Completely alien yet completely believable.

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